Skip to content (Press Enter)



What Style Wedding Dress Is Best for a Short Bride?

Find your nearest boutique

Finding the perfect wedding dress for your body type can be a challenge, even more so when you’re a petite bride. As a petite woman, you have more than likely struggled to find clothing that fits your entire life. Unfortunately, shopping for a wedding dress is no different. Despite pouring over bridal magazines and Pinterest boards, it is impossible to picture a dress on your figure when the model is over six feet tall! 


When shopping for your big day, it is essential to understand what styles look best on a petite frame. You want to find bridal gowns that elongate your figure, not widen it. This means that as beautiful as puffy ball gowns or princess dresses are, the excess fabric will only make you look shorter. To help you narrow down your options, below are some shopping tips and silhouette guidelines to help you say “yes” to the dress.

Shopping Guidelines for Petite Wedding Dresses

When it comes to shopping for your perfect petite wedding gown, the first rule of thumb is to avoid dresses with excess material. Though every girl dreams of that beautiful, Cinderella-like wedding dress, a petite frame will drown in puffy princess-style gowns. 


The key is to keep things simple to ensure your figure is not overwhelmed. Avoid overly elaborate dresses with beading or large bows. You should also choose a simpler, shorter veil, such as a birdcage. Though chapel-length veils look stunning, they may overwhelm a smaller frame.


When it comes to bridal dresses for shorter ladies, the length is not the only thing that matters. You also want to ensure that the proportions on your dress are in line with your own as well. Any dress can be hemmed to your height, but a fitted bodice designed for someone 5’6” and up won’t properly fit someone who is 5’1” or under. However, selecting a flattering silhouette sets the foundation for a smooth round of alterations down the line.

What Wedding Dress Silhouettes Work Best for Short Brides?

The silhouette, or shape of your dress, plays a massive factor for your petite frame. In fashion, there are a variety of silhouettes, all more flattering on certain body types than others. For short brides, the following four silhouettes are ideal for a beautiful, elongated shape.

Sheath Dresses


If you are looking for a sexy wedding dress, the sheath style is for you. A slinky, body-hugging sheath dress is the best way to show off your slim figure. This style is designed so that the seam runs vertically from the shoulders to the hips, creating a beautiful yet minimalistic look. Since most sheath dresses are lightweight, this style is perfect for weddings in a variety of settings. Whether you’re getting married in a traditional chapel or on an exotic beach, sheath gowns are an ideal fit for petite ladies.

Mermaid and Trumpet Dresses

Ella - Discontinued

If you want to add a bit of drama to your gown, trumpet or mermaid fit dresses are a great option. The elongated waistline of these styles will help you appear taller, and the flare at or below your knee will help to balance out your frame. Trumpet and mermaid dresses are flattering for many body types, including petite ones. If you want to show off your curvy figure, this silhouette emphasizes the bust and hips. To make your legs look even longer, opt for a waistline higher than your natural waist.

If you are unsure of what silhouette to choose, an A-line look is universally flattering for every body type. Like the letter A, this style of dress is fitted through the hipline, then broadens down to the ankle. Petite brides should look for an empire waist A-line dress to add some extra length to their frame. Not only is this style great for all body types, but it is beautiful in any wedding setting.

Cocktail Dresses


If you have to have the fluffy princess dress, a look that hits above the knee could be fun, flirty, and not hindering to your petite frame. Cocktail wedding dresses are a great way to go against the grain and are ideal for a more casual ceremony or letting loose at the reception. When you choose a short wedding dress, you are free to add all the embellishments and laces you want without looking overwhelmed. They are also ideal for outdoor ceremonies, as you won’t have to worry about the dress dragging along the grass. Shorter wedding dresses are fabulous for destinations weddings as well, as they are much easier to pack than traditional length gowns.

When you are searching for the perfect wedding dress for your needs, Galia Lahav has a variety of options to choose from. We have boutique locations all over the world that hold the silhouettes listed above and so much more. Visit us online today to browse our extensive collections of bridal wear.

Published by
Annaelle Beenstock image

Annaelle Beenstock | October 30, 2019

Similar articles

All articles
Finish your registration for {City} Trunk Show